Best of worst: Not all the stars are shining this year

Ozzie Smith is starting at shortstop in tomorrow's All-Star Game, his 10th consecutive All-Star start. This is not impressive, not at all. Obviously, if this tiny man can do this 10 times, it must not be that difficult to do.

No, none of the people prancing around tomorrow are impressive, with all their home runs and .300 averages and their millions of votes. Much more elite are the guys who get two or three votes only because crazy fans are A) trying to be funny or TC B) had about a dozen too many beers.


So here they are, our Anti-All-Stars. The American League will be managed by Dan Quayle. The National League will have no manager, so that things can be even. Stats are through Friday's games.

Look for some of the following guys to be wearing those spiffy Marlins uniforms next year. We don't have a designated hitter on either team, by the way, because, really now, what's the use?



First base: St. Louis' Andres Galarraga. If his .194 average isn't a great credential, how about his 11-1 strike out-to-walk ratio (33 Ks, three BBs)?

Second base: Montreal's Bret Barberie. He hit .203 while he was up, with more errors than RBI (10 to nine). Is actually a third baseman, but we've moved him. What's he going to do? Complain?

Shortstop: Tough call between Philadelphia's Dale Sveum (.177) and New York's Junior Noboa (.130). Sveum gets nod because he has made almost three times as many errors as Noboa (eight to three), which doesn't even count the one his parents made with the spelling of their last name.

Third base: San Francisco's Matt Williams is hitting .217, has made 13 errors and strikes out once every four times up.

Catcher: Everyone except the guys in St. Louis and Philadelphia.

Outfielders: San Diego's Jerald Clark is hitting .214. St. Louis' Pedro Guerrero is hitting .221 with one homer, 16 RBI and eight extra-base hits. There are worse outfielders than Atlanta's Dave Justice (.240, seven errors) but he makes this team for his sour attitude.

Starting pitcher: You know that age-old debate about who should select the All-Star team -- fans, sportswriters, front-office types or players? It is moot here. This has to be unanimous. Philadelphia's Kyle Abbott (0-11, 5.40 ERA).


Reliever: San Francisco's Dave Righetti is 1-6, with a 5.83 ERA and as many walks as strikeouts (28).


Catcher: Seattle's Matt Sinatro (.107 average but makes up for it by being dreadfully slow and easily injured).

First base: Baltimore's Glenn Davis. He won't be able to play, of course, because he's always injured.

Second base: Chicago's Steve Sax has a .227 average and 11 errors, not to mention the defensive range of a corpse.

Shortstop: Cleveland's Mark Lewis has made 20 errors. Or maybe 23, if you are reading this at night.


Third base: California's Gary Gaetti is hitting .223 with 17 errors. This clubhouse will be fun with Gaetti and Lewis. They will toss a ball around playfully and accidentally kill Glenn Davis.

Outfielders: Milwaukee's Greg Vaughn is up to .208 after a recent offensive outburst. New York's Jesse Barfield is hurt but makes our team anyway because you can't ignore someone who is hitting .137 with twice as many strikeouts as hits (27 to 13). Texas' Kevin Reimer is a super hitter (.289), but he makes our team because we want to have an outfielder with eight errors to put behind Lewis and Gaetti. It will be great fun with our ...

Starting pitcher: Cleveland's Jack Armstrong (2-12, 5.40 ERA), who is right-handed and allows everyone to pull everything toward, if not over, Lewis, Gaetti and Reimer.

Reliever: Baltimore's Mike Flanagan has appeared in more games than all but two Baltimore relievers and has still managed an 0-0 record. That he hasn't lost a game is a miracle given his 9.30 ERA.

The National League would win, of course, on a soft grounder that scoots through the legs of Gaetti, under the glove of Lewis and somehow manages to hit Glenn Davis in the face. The AL had a chance to win in the ninth, but the manager inexplicably called a squeeze play with two outs and no one on.